23 December 2009

Skiing Kills Fashion

It appears the more we ski, the less attention we pay to how we look. Maybe we've been looking to Europe for too long. Slipping down the style-challenged slope for decades, we have taken our cues from Euro riche fluorescent-loving skiiers instead of stamping the sport in our own style. Burton snowboard wearers aside, the ski population still looks like they're stuck in a fashion snowbank. Even Kate Moss can't make the classic one-piece and clunky boots look cool.
Until the ski fashion industry starts looking forward, lets look at the Past Fashion Wipeouts on the Piste.
No decade is more glaringly out of style than the 80's. And those on the slope brought with them the bright colors and headbands worn on flat land.
The 1970's popularized the one-piece ski suit. The brighter the better.
Emilio Pucci made his name creating one of the few fashion-conscious ski outfits for the modern woman of the 1950s. This outfit was photographed for Harpers Bazaar. Good attempt Emilio!

More skiiers in the 1950s. The last stylish decade on the slopes in my opinion.
The 1940's may look good but doesn't look very warm. There is a sacrifice with fashion, the question is, are we ready for to go back to it?

11 December 2009

The Deportation of Panda

China is hands-down the largest exporter of inferior products- like electronic equipment that breaks after a few uses, harmfully tainted pharmaceuticals and dangerous plastic toys. Yet Americans have practically single-handedly driven its economy to stardom by buying these hazardous products, gleefully ignoring any risks to their children's or own safety. We bought so much substandard Chinese crap that we are now threatened by China's global economic dominance. It may be too late for the US to fight that economic battle but another war wages on. It concerns China's regulations on deportation. Deportation of American Pandas.
Next month, a young Panda (Tai Shan) will be forced to leave his home at Washington's National Zoo and head back to China for breeding. There are only 14 pandas here in the US, all of them on loan from China. Under its agreements with the zoos, China lends panda pairs for breeding and conservation research. Any cubs those pandas produce are then property of China and must become part of the country's breeding program. That means they are deported back to China, never to be returned or enjoyed by young, bratty American zoo-goers again.

Tai Shan was born in 2005 and was granted a two-year extension in 2007. Tai Shan's parents' loan period is will be reached in December 2010 when they too will face deportation. But it doesn't stop there, Panda cubs living in zoos in Atlanta and San Diego are also destined to be ripped from their homes and sent back East- just like little Elian Gonzalez was forced back to Cuba in 2000.

This smells like China's most egregious and unfair trade agreement yet! Their shady commerce practices have for too long restrained us and allowed them to grow exponentially. They have surpassed us in car-buying; they are the 3rd largest market for luxury goods; they are hot on our heels as the world's largest online game market. So why does China need to corner the market on yet another product- one so cute as the Panda?

Americans should fight for their right to keep the Pandas that we produce here in the United States. We cannot allow them to be deported back, giving China the satisfaction of dominating us in yet another category, even if it is best way to protect these bears from extinction. Plus, if China continues to paw at all our bears, eventually we may be forced to get passports and travel outside the U.S. to see these cuddly diplomats.

The photo to the right is not of Tai Shan but was the cutest photo I could find on the internet. He probably already lives in China but we should have him.

08 December 2009

Alice Does Bergdorf's

Forget Wonderland, Alice chose to spend her Christmas 2009 at Bergdorf Goodman's. The enchanting displays will cause temporary amnesia from all apocalyptic thoughts of the economy. There are sequins and fringe and all out glamour.

Here is 'Alice' in a dazzling dress with a unicorn and lion made of crystal. Look closely at the bottom right corner- there's a silver-plated lobster.
Hedged- manicured horses dance with a hipper "Alice".
Ostriches. Dressed in Tartan. Playing bagpipes. Carrying red Chinese architecture- inspired Bird cages with Cockatoos. Beat that.
Whit and Black Crystal-faced polar bears. Their bodies are made entirely of flapper-dress fringe. The detail is scary in the most beautiful way.
My personal favorite. A squirrel rides his bike into the Wonderland across a Chess board toward the playing card people (hard to see in the photo - sorry it was taken with my cellphone. )
Across the street at Bergdorf Goodman's Mens is an homage to the Fantastic Mr Fox film/ Roald Dahl book. See a slidehow at http://manhattan.about.com/od/citylife1/ig/Bergdorf-Goodman-Xmas-Windows/200911_d7h03874_bergdorf_w15.htm

04 December 2009

A Smashing Year

The year is (fortunately) coming to an end. If anything, it will be known as the "Year of the Crash" for all the depressing events we endured. Here are my Burning Fierce Top 5 CRASH stories of 2009.

1. the U.S. Economy
Gone (for now) are the mind-blowing profits and Dow Highs that made us fat and comfortable. The bursting bubble of our real estate market created a domino effect that sunk the value of our dollar and watched employment plummet.

2. The White House Party Crashers.
They dropped themselves straight into a reality show guaranteed to have very few viewers. This story would have been better if the imaginary child in the balloon had crashed through the ceiling.

3. Taylor Swift being Kanye'd at the Video Music Awards.
Mr. West is a Stage crasher of the worst kind. The award for biggest D-Bag goes to....

4. Tiger Woods' Wife's Golf Club Crashing into his Car (after Tiger Crashed it into a tree). A double crash! However deserved, the negative publicity isn't worth the reported $80 million she may receive to stay in the marriage. Then again the $80 million does explain how such a boring man can lure so many women into performing "indiscretions" with him.

5. the Hannah Montana Doll Drops the f-Bomb. Kids' eardrums are blistering with the way some Moms think her doll pronounces the word 'Pumpkin' in song. Please note, this is only some Moms- those that never swear when their little angels forget to pick up their toys or smear diaper filling on the walls, of course.
We can only hope these moms crash from their meth highs next year.

And let's hope 2010 will bring some "Up's"-and I'm not talking film titles. I think we all deserve some.

02 December 2009

Wrapped and Ready

Even before I start stomping through the shops in search of Christmas presents for my friends and family, I think about how I will package the gifts. It is all in the presentation after all. I found some wrapping papers that will make any gift stand out under the tree.
Let Space Invaders conquer your gift wrapping dilemma.$5 a roll at Uncrate.com.

Paper-source.com has so many cool papers like this reindeer print.

They like their pixels in the UK. How cool is this paper? Lagomdesign.co.uk

24 November 2009

a Touch of Grey

My nephew Jake just painted his bedroom grey. It inspired me on a recent trip to Mystic, CT to find shades of Grey in the objects and surroundings around me.

13 November 2009

Rogue or Redundant?

Just when politics was getting too boring to write about, Sarah Palin again wriggles into the spotlight. Her highly-anticipated book "Going Rogue" is mostly anticipated by those wondering what thought in her head could be worth the estimated $7 million (source: LA Times) Harper Collins is throwing at her.
The book, to be released Tuesday November 17 is already reduced on Amazon. com - selling for just $9 on pre-order (that's a $19.99 price cut before it's even released)! Not to be outdone, WalMart is offering the gripping piece of literature for $8.98 with free shipping.
Maybe a pre-release price chop is the only thing rogue about her these days. The title of the book itself is being questioned by news organizations like TIME magazine as being untimely.
Certainly she is not the first politician to fumble through a television interview, gain the obsessive hatred of 92% of Americans, and quit her job to go on a book tour. If she was a housewife with a horrible haircut then her name would be Kate Gosselin.
The press releases have been trying hard to promote this as there are no gripping revelations disclosed in the book. It includes admissions there were conflicts within the McCain Campaign (shock!), she hates Katie Couric for her "badgering" interview questions (Wait. She still hasn't looked up the definition of "badgering"?), and her ethics complaints drove her legal expenses to more than half a million dollars. No surprises. Except she does reveal a fondness for 8th grade literature, revealing George Orwell's "Animal Farm" is one of her favorite stories. Perhaps the pigs in the book influenced her during the campaign and as governor. Her actions seem to echo the scrawling on the barn door: "All animals are created equal but some animals are more equal than others".
Unfortunately it looks like "Going Rogue" will not be the jaw-dropping, scandalous read we expected from the Thrilla from Wasilla and in these dire economic times, even a measly $9 is too much to pay for a ghost-written piece of fluff. It seems her only revealing quality, the rogue actions that made her appealing to those that may not have agreed with her politically, has shriveled up in the vast tundra of Alaska. Sad.
You can see Sarah Palin revealing the dry details of her book on Oprah Monday November 16. If you need help falling asleep on the couch, that is.

11 November 2009

Heads in Business Cards

Not everyone can be as clever, as witty as brilliant as comedian Steve Martin. Don't believe me? Check out his business card! It makes me want to ask him for his autograph if I ever meet him!
For the rest of us. we can try to make our business life a bit more interesting. This elastic business card makes so much sense when you pull it and read that its for a personal trainer. I almost want to go to the gym now.

Here's a card you don't want to get. It's for a debt collector. Don't pay? Your thumb will look like this.
And every landscaper needs a Chia-biz card pet.

04 November 2009

When You Gotta Go

Artist Candy Chung comes to the aid of New Yorkers in need of a Restroom Rescue. With a background in Urban Planning, she was stunned to find, or rather, not find, the paltry number of public toilets in New York City. I personally only know of one (in the green space where Broadway and 6 Avenue cross at 33th street). This opposed to 750 Automatic Public Commodes in Singapore, 678 in London and 500 in Athens.
So, Chung mapped out some semi-public places to let it all out downtown. These include Starbucks, Hotels and Police Stations and she printed them on a tear-by-page note pad. If any are still available they were placed at the 4,5,6, J,M,Z Canal Street Subway Station. This is something very handy to have in your wallet. Save yourself the trip to Chinatown and print a PDF of the map out at www.candychung.com or here.

28 October 2009

Back in Black Cocktails

Let the Goths suck blood this Halloween. There's a better way to get into the Holiday Spirit - with Black Vodka! You can pick up Blavod brand for $24 a bottle. It allows your Martinis to Masquerade for the day. Here are some ways to serve it to your guests along with some other Creepy Cocktails that should get you into the holiday mood.

1/4 cup ice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 oz. Black Vodka
1 strip of Black Licorice to garnish
Place ice in a tall glass. Pour in orange juice. Pour vodka over the back of a spoon into the glass so that it rests on top of the juice. Slice off the tips of the licorice to use as a straw.

1 1/4 oz. Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka
1/4 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liquer
1/4 oz. half & half
1 t. grated white chocolate
Wet the rim of a cocktail glass and dip into White Chocolate. Pour all other ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake. Pour into glass.


2.5 oz Black vodka
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
maraschino cherry to garnish

Place Vodka and Sweet Vermouth into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake.
Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.

1 1/2 oz. Bacardi "0"
1/2 oz. cointreau
2 oz. pineapple juice
1 Tbs. strawberry or raspberry puree

In a shaker with ice pour rum, cointreau and juice. Shake and pour into a rocks glass. Dip the end of a drinking straw into the puree, hold the tip of your finger over the other end and use the straw to squirt puree into the bottom half-inch of the drink, where it will sink in red blobs. Do not stir.

19 October 2009

Celebrate a day of Ghouls, Ghosts and Goslins

Ghosts, Ghouls and (Kate) Goslins will no doubt come out this October 31st, as a Gaelic superstition explains that all souls that are in Purgatory are released for 48 hours on All Hallows Eve.

Since you'll never be able to fight it, why not invite some specimens of the undead into your home this year?

If you are planning on staying home to dispense candy to the costumed kids in your neighborhood, you may want to kill time waiting for the zombies and mummies by playing Skeleton Jenga.
It's $18 from Uncommongoods. com and it's way more fun than the regular boring wood Jenga because it's a skeleton!!

When the doorbell does ring, let the kids grab your treats with their grubby little hands from this cookie jar from Target.

It's just $16.99. And the lid makes it easy to snap shut when those greedy goblins grab more than two like you told them!

This toaster will get you in the mood for all the tricks and treats that await you this day by stamping your morning toast with a skull and crossbones.

I am certain that the skull makes it taste better too. On the German Website that sells it, it costs 33 Euros.

Serve your hot apple cider on this melamine tray with a crowned skull. Amazon.com sells them 2 for $14.00

And make sure the mood is set by lighting tons of these candles from zgallerie. $24.95 each.

16 October 2009

Go Wild in the Cinema

Maurice Sendak, the writer of the children' classic, Where the Wild Things Are was asked by Newsweek what he would say if someone thought the movie version of his story was too scary for kids. He replied:
"I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate.... if they can't handle it, go home. Or wet your pants."
The long-awaited film combines both the author's amazing imagination and the director Spike Jonze's intensely creative vision. This collaboration began more than ten years ago, when Sendak saw Jonze's video for "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. He knew then that he had found someone who shared his creative genius.
Sendak approached Jonze to adapt the book "Harold and the Purple Crayon" (which he held rights to) but the studio's love/hate relationship with Jonze caused Tristar to reject his storyboard just two months before shooting began.
Maurice Sendak then planted the seed in Spike Jonze's ear for a film adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are".
“I would think about it, but I couldn't work out what I could bring to it, what I could add,” Jonze says. “But then I realized maybe what the Wild Things could be: wild emotions. Through the eyes of a kid, unpredictable emotions – in yourself or the people around you – are very confusing. As soon as I hit on that I thought, 'Well, that's infinite, what you can do with that.' With that I thought I could add to the film but not from the outside, just go deeper into what the book already is.
Sendak and Jonze's struggle to release this film is a gift to the wild thing in all of us.

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